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Looking After the Flat

Looking After the Flat

When you’re living in rented property, you have to look after it well. But sometimes things still go wrong. Sometimes it’s up to you to fix things that go wrong and sometimes it’s up to your landlord. It’s important to know what your responsibilities are and what your landlord’s responsibilities are.

What can I expect about the cleanliness of the property when I move in?

The landlord has to make sure that the property is clean and tidy when you move in. After that, it’s up to you to make sure that it stays clean and tidy. If you don’t, you could be breaching your tenancy agreement and the law. Your landlord is allowed to check that you’re keeping the property reasonably clean and tidy during a property inspection.

Whose responsibility is it to clean the property when I move out?

You have to leave the house at the standard it was in when you moved in. Make sure that the property is clean and tidy when you leave at the end of your tenancy. If it’s not, your landlord might be able to take money out of your bond to pay for a cleaner.

What do I have to fix in a rental?

You have to fix things if it was your fault that they broke. This includes if your friends break something or if you have a party and someone at the party (even if you don’t know them) breaks something. It’s up to you to fix the problem, you may need to pay for someone to fix it. If you break something and don’t pay for it, the landlord can take the cost of fixing it out of your bond. If there’s not enough in the bond, you will owe them the rest. Sometimes, if you just leave the problem, it could get worse, and you’ll have to pay more in the future to fix it.

You can ask the people who broke the item to then pay you back, and if they don’t, you may be able to take them to the Disputes Tribunal.

What does my landlord have to fix?

If something provided by the landlord breaks and it isn’t your fault, then it’s up to the landlord to fix it. It’s the landlord’s job to keep the place reasonably well repaired and to make sure it complies with health and safety requirements. E.g. If the house starts leaking, it’s up to the landlord to get this fixed as quickly as possible.

If something needs fixing, you need to tell your landlord immediately. If you don’t, and things get worse, you may have to pay for any further damages. E.g. If you don’t tell the landlord that the house is leaking, the wet carpet might start rotting and have to be replaced. You might have to pay to replace the carpet because if the landlord knew about it immediately, they wouldn’t have to replace the carpet.

What happens if the landlord doesn’t fix things?

Most of the time the landlord will arrange to get things fixed once you tell them about the problem. But sometimes you might not be able to get a hold of them or they might refuse to fix the problem. If the problem needs to be fixed urgently, you can arrange to get the repairs done yourself. The landlord will have to pay you back for it later unless the amount was unreasonable.

Can I take an action if the landlord does not fix things?

If the problem isn’t urgent, you need to keep trying to get a hold of your landlord and notify them in writing, asking them to carry out the repairs within 14 days. If they still don’t, you can make an application to the Tenancy Tribunal. You can ask for a work order to make the landlord get the work done. You can also ask for compensation to pay you back for any costs that you had to pay along the way.

Our landlord lives overseas, who do we contact to get repairs done?

Your landlord is supposed to appoint an agent for the property if they’re going to leave the country for more than 3 weeks. They should have told you who the agent is and how to contact them.
If your bond is held by Tenancy Services, the landlord should also have notified them.

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